As winter progresses and we approach March, that means it’s a good time to spend some time preparing you and your pets for National Poison Prevention Week 2020. National Poison Prevention Week takes place from March 15-21. Here are some quick and simple tips for making sure that you are ready to do the most you can to prevent your pets from getting poisoned in your home and out in the world:

Be Mindful of Your Home Environment

Forbes Magazine reported that 92% of pet owners spent the same or more on their pets during the most recent recession period. But even the most seasoned pet owners may be surprised to discover just how many different substances can lead to troubles with their pets. When you think everything in your home environment is safe and secure, it can lead you to make the kinds of lazy mistakes that just might end up with a trip to seek out specialty veterinarian services. Thankfully, there are many common areas where most pet owners slip up, so as long as you stay aware and mindful, you can steer clear of the most common ways in which pets are poisoned around the house.

First and foremost, it is absolutely necessary to keep a close eye on your kitchen procedures and protocols. Many potentially harmful foods go in and out of the kitchen nearly every day. With the commotion of other family members and meal preparation, it’s easy for your pets to sneak in and ingest something that may cause them trouble. Of course foods such as chocolate should be stored away from areas where a dog might be able to easily get to them. This also means you should be mindful of what types of foods you’re leaving out on the counter for an extended period of time. All it takes is one moment of forgetfulness and your pet could be poisoned.

For anyone who owns cats, you should take a separate set of precautions to avoid unintentional poisoning. With cats, it’s wise to take close measures when it comes to your usage of liquid cleaners such as toilet cleaners. Because cats tend to be sensitive to different liquids, it’s a good idea to make sure they are never left on surfaces where a cat might lick or otherwise ingest them into their system. You should also be mindful of the kinds of plants that you bring into the home, as some families and species can have negative effects on some types of cats.

Take Care of Your Yard and Garden Areas

While most people only think of poisoning happening inside their homes, it’s also a good idea to make sure that your outdoor areas have been managed for pet safety as well. Take your soil, for example. As we all know, sometimes our pets love to get into the yard and roll around in the soil. While this kind of play seems innocent enough at first glance, it’s important to be cautious of the types of fertilizers that are in your soil. Certain fertilizers can lead to severe allergic reactions and even poisoning in some cases. Make sure your soil is safe for pets before you allow your animals to roam around in it too much.

On a similar note, you should be careful to not leave any outdoor cleaning or landscaping chemicals out. It’s far too easy for one of your pets to start rooting around in a bucket that may be full of harmful insecticides or other chemicals. Always be mindful of where your pets are when you are working outdoors in your yard or garden.

Keep a Watch on Your Pets When Walking Them

You should never overlook the very real possibility of your pets being poisoned when you are out on a walk with them. There’s never really any telling just what kinds of objects, foods, and chemicals your pet might ingest when you are out in public. While you do not need to hover close over your pet’s every move, you should do your part to make sure they stay far away from any strange or unidentified objects that you may come across on your daily walks. Even public areas such as parks can house some objects that are better left untouched. Exercising caution as you walk your pets is the best way to avoid any potential issues with poisons.

If you think your pet has ingested a poisonous substance, you can call ASPCA Poison Control at 1-888-426-4435.

At Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center we are happy to provide a wide range of veterinary specialty and emergency services. If you find yourself in the midst of a veterinary emergency, our team of experienced veterinarians is here to help. When it comes to visiting animal hospitals, we understand that the experience can be full of stress and worry, so we aim to make things as simple as possible. For more information, get in touch with one of our experts today.